5 simple Steps that Will Help You Reduce Stress
How I Returned to a Peaceful State at Work
The last few weeks have found me flopping into bed at the end of the day exhausted.
But I wasn’t able to sleep because my mind was repeating the list of things I didn’t get done today and reviewing the list of things I needed to get done tomorrow.
I’d wake up the next morning after a fitful sleep without feeling refreshed. And repeat the hectic pace of the day before. It felt like a rotten cycle I had gotten myself into.
I decided this can’t go on.
I prayed, “Lord what can I do to break this cycle?”
Gratefully, I was give five simple ideas to reduce my stress and return to peace.
I am a Christian and I’d like to say this is my go-to default mode. But too many times I plod along in my struggles on my own and forget that God’s got my back.
I have learned from experience that God is able to give me answers, impart wisdom, and provide me with a peace that is beyond my understanding. But I need to ask for it.
Make a List
Taking a moment to sit down and make a list of what I need to do and want to do takes it out of my brain where it continuously bounces around demanding my attention and draining my energy.
Once on paper, I am free to breathe again and relax.
Once I have this list I am able to objectively evaluate every item on it and consider what — if anything — has to be done immediately.
What is something I have to do versus something I want to do?
Adding timelines of when things are due helps me prioritize my list. For example, my list had many items including the need to complete my income taxes, but when I put a timeline to it, I realized that it wasn’t urgent. I actually had six weeks to file it so I could take it off my “must do now” list.
Many times I have things to do on my list that don’t necessarily have to be done by me.
For example, one item was to buy toilet paper at Costco. This was something I could easily delegate to my husband. Change the kitty litter? My son can do that.
Recognizing that my stress level was causing me to be short with friends and irritated at work, I needed to share my frustrations and ask for help.
I took my case to my boss and he immediately made changes to my work load to lift the burden. I talked with my co-editor and we designed a new schedule to better suit my needs.
Stress is a silent killer.
It can cause high blood pressure, heart disease and other health problems — not to mention rob us of quality of life. Following these five strategies to reduce stress will bring a renewed sense of peace to your day.